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Man’s actions following boating accident impacted charges filed, says Dauphin County DA

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A man is now facing several charges including manslaughter for the death of his fiance and daughter. The boat he was driving capsized near the Dock Street Dam in May. Cody Binkley, 26, is facing a total of 16 charges, including homicide by watercraft while operating under the influence and involuntary manslaughter. On May 7th, 2018, around 9:30 p.m., surveillance footage shows Binkley crashed his boat into the Dock Street Dam ultimately killing his fiance Mary Bredbenner and their 3-year-old daughter Madelyn.

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo says, while this is an accident and Binkley lost his family there are several things that come into play when deciding to file charges. How Binkley acted in the hours and days following the accident, Chardo says was the biggest reason.

"He went home and went to sleep," said Chardo. "Well, that really, really struck me. The fact that he did that and the men and women of the emergency services and the men and women behind me care more about finding his child than he did."

On top of Binkley making no efforts to search for his daughter, Chardo says toxicology reports show Binkley smoked marijuana right around the time he and his family went out on the river. The probable cause affidavit reveals about 1/4 ounce of marijuana was found on the capsized boat. When officers searched Binkley's car, they found loose suspected marijuana leaves, stems and bits scattered throughout. Binkley told officers he and his family were out on the river planning to camp that night and wake up early the next day to get a methadone treatment at a clinic in Lebanon, because he was a recovering heroin addict.

"This is the combination of poor decision making that led to this tragedy," said Chardo.

THC and methadone were also found in Mary Bredbenner's body.